Life During Wartime
Geek Week Double Issue
CSS: The heartbreak of small ems (17 May)
Flash Player 6 & broken detection scripts (14 May)
Dingbats instead of text (18 April)
29 May 2002
Ladies and gentlemen, the relaunch of Happy Cog. Now featuring actual content, and multiple pages, even. Includes the Happy Cog Project Planner, a downloadable file to help clients explain exactly what they want in a design or redesign project. (You’ll find it in the Contact section.) Still missing from this release: a portfolio of client sites. It’s next on the list.
One year ago today, he said, “I’m in love with you,” and she said, “I’m in love with you,” and that was it, and it was everything.
Ian’s Favelets (mini-scripts you can save in your browser’s toolbar) do wonderfully useful stuff. Like the original Favelets that inspired them, they should be part of any web designer’s tool kit.
Corporate Publishers, Ltd., a New Zealand publishing and marketing agency, has shamelessly ripped off copyrighted content from our book and is presenting it as their own work. Compare their tone-deaf minor edit with Chapter Three of Taking Your Talent to the Web. We don’t know how our copyright laws compare with New Zealand’s, but professional ethics are the same all over. Professionals don’t steal each other’s work. Only knuckle-dragging amateurs do that. Hat tip: Josh Knowles.
We recently discovered the personal site of Steven Frank, the very bright guy behind Panic Software and Disturbing Auctions. Mac users, Panic’s ancient LinkPad (“a scratchpad for links”) works as well now as the day it was released, and it’s free.
Earlier today, the manholes on our street began exploding, and some New Yorkers thought we’d fallen victim to the terror attacks we’ve been told to expect. Actually, though, the exploding manholes were caused by a utility company problem that has now been fixed.
We just loved writing “exploding manholes” in the paragraph above.
We rarely link to political opinions, but were somehow compelled to mention this one.
Sniffin’ the tears: MSN/Germany’s browser detector does not care for Mozilla or IE5/Mac. Visit its ecard site with either of those browsers, and you’ll be told to “upgrade” to IE4 or Netscape 6.1. (IE4? Yup.) Tip: Chris Kaminski. Related: MSN, Opera, and Web Standards in Issue 127 of A List Apart.
Two days ’til this site hits its seventh anniversary and begins its eighth year online.
24–27 May 2002
In Issue 145 of A List Apart, for people who make websites:
Simple Content Management. ALA’s Geek Week double issue kicks off with this deceptively simple tutorial by Christopher Ross-Gill. Build a complete, expandable, client-side content management system.
XL5 Free Press in association with Pixelsurgeon presents Dodge Magazine #2, a collaborative ’zine featuring work by nineteen web artists, designers, and writers.
Speaking of indie ’zines based on online book metaphors, UNseeN Magazine is always seeking contributors. The most recent issue (16 May 2002) documents the idN Fresh 3 conference held in Singapore.
In a similar self-publishing vein, a group of talented web writers has just released Manual, a downloadable PDF-formatted book designed by “slow but steady” Dean Allen. Print and read at your leisure.
Naar Voren, a site for Dutch web designers and developers, has just launched, and includes an authorized translation of ALA’s “Why Don’t You Code For Netscape?” Congratulations to editor Robert Jan Verkade on the launch!
UK-based Princes Trust helps young people get started in business. They support those who might not otherwise attain loans, including people with disabilities. Accessibility must have been a top concern when The Trust hired a web agency to develop their new site.
Alas, while their content emphasizes the group’s commitment to accessibility, the site’s markup is inaccessible by any standard, including WAI and Section 508. Opened in a text browser, the site is a mess of spacer gifs. The people who commissioned the site appear to want to do the right thing, but those who built it don’t seem to “get” what accessibility entails. Hat tip: Rachel Andrew.
Kartoo is a new search engine that displays results in a visual map using Flash. Kind of amazing. Link stolen from meryl.net.
Based on the latest Mozilla Release Candidate, Netscape 7 Preview is out. The development community has lauded the new browser for its solid support of web standards including XML and the DOM.
Unsurprisingly, the trade press is treating the emergence of a strong Netscape browser as Part 2 of the Browser Wars. Baloney. The Browser Wars were about two companies vying for ownership of a financially hyped medium via incompatible browsers that sported proprietary features before fully supporting common standards.
Colored scrollbars and XUL aside, today’s Netscape and Explorer support the same core standards. The emergence of Netscape 7 won’t fracture the web, as the Browser Wars threatened to; it will simply give users a choice. It’s a pity that those paid to write the news can’t confine themselves to facts. News hounds, if you’re feeling creatively confined, try writing poetry.
the grizzly bear is huge and wild
it has devour’d the infant child
the infant child is unaware
he has been eaten by the bear
Seven days ’til this site hits its seventh anniversary and begins its eighth year online.
[2 pm | 1 pm]
Eight days ’til this site hits its seventh (wool/copper) anniversary and begins its eighth year online. One day ’til the “Geek Week” double issue of A List Apart goes live. One day ’til the projected launch of Dodge #2, a collaborative journal of art and words.
We’ve added a “Recent Essentials” index to the top of this column to help you grab the life-saving buoys amid The Daily Report’s endless flow. Four out of five designers surveyed recommend that you read every word of this page every day. But with today’s active lifestyles, you might skip a day and miss something vital to your continued professional growth. “Recent Essentials” will help you get back up to speed before your competitors realize you’re no longer “in the know” and crush you like a small, writhing mollusk.
The Flash Player 6 browser detection script problem mentioned in an earlier Report (see “Essentials” above) has been fixed on the front page of Turner Classic Movies but not in interior pages. After installing Flash Player 6, click “Schedule,” and you’re told, “You don’t seem to have either Flash 3 or 4 installed” (screenshot). No wonder the kids love XHTML.
While the general American media frenzy and the knowledge that your city has been threatened again can turn your innards to aspic if you let it, the streets of NYC remain mellow and panic-free. Girls still chirp into cell phones. Doormen look bored or ostentatious, depending on the rent paid by the tenants. Creative types dodge traffic while contemplating that troublesome paragraph. New York City as usual, unless you’re a firefighter or cop.
We spent the evening in Bryant Park, watching a man stand on a 100-foot platform. If you’ve never seen Bryant Park at night, come visit. It’s a glorious square of grass and trees ringed by cunningly lit architectural marvels including Raymond Hood’s dark chocolate American Standard Building and The New York Public Library.
The man on the 100-foot platform was David Blaine, a magician slash performance artist. He stood on that tiny platform for over a day prior to leaping off. We split before he jumped, and caught the denoument in a rare session of network television viewing.
Watching the event on American television, you got a feeling of hype and hucksterism. Not so in the near-silent park. In the park, the event had an uncanny spiritual quality impossible to capture on film or with words. Carrie saw the elevated man as a metaphor she didn’t bother or need to explain.
21 May 2002
[5 pm | noon]
My Glamorous Life No. 71: Life During Wartime.
In other site news for a chilly Tuesday, we’ve updated and organized the Exit Gallery’s CSS section. More to come.
We finally got to meet the excellent Aaron Boodman, developer of the Three.OH news scroller and other fine UI widgets, several of which he gives away on his personal site at youngpup.net.
Aaron’s as comfortable with .net as he is with Flash MX, but his heart belongs to the DOM, XUL, and SOAP. Over lunch, he pointed out that many W3C standards (at least the ones implemented so far) are geared toward a document-centric web.
This is great for content folks, but less great for people who need to build web applications. Which is precisely why Microsoft, Sun, and Macromedia have all done so well with their proprietary solutions.
Aaron is 23. Minds like his bear watching.
Jeff Gates thinks about private boundaries in public places in today’s installment of Life Outta Context, his sensitively written, occasional journal.
CodeBitch has isolated the text indent bug in IE5/Mac. Percentage units trigger the glitch. Other relative and absolute units appear to work as they should. Guess we’ll be updating the ALA style sheet yet again, at least until this bug is fixed. If you salivate over stuff like this, Donimo has launched a forum for the discussion of CSS and other web standards issues.
A few days ago we linked to getnytimes.com for stealing 37signals’s design (which they’ve since removed). We thought inept design theft was their only sin, but Jim Heid dug deeper:
“They hide their real source behind a borderless frame; their links take you to existing pages on the real New York Times site. They attempt to force a dozen cookies down your throat, and they put up a pop-up asking for your friends’ email addresses. Oh, and www.getusatoday.com is also active, though it displays the New York Times page.”
There’s more, but you get the gist. The bumbling perps behind getnytimes.com appear to be abusing legitimate newspaper sites to harvest email addresses. For their own sake, we hope they stop before the newspaper of record’s legal department gets wise to them.